Welcome to the 2013-2014 Rotary Year, where our theme is “Engage Rotary, Change Lives”. What a wonderful and thoughtful theme, gives us an opportunity to think about how we personally Engage Rotary in the Club, in our profession and in our community. Are we changing lives, are we making a difference? Are we looking for new opportunities for service, fellowship, youth service, community projects?
What is Rotary all about, what makes us different form other organizations?
We act differently, through our Four Way Test and socially as we embrace and welcome diversity in all aspects. We think differently coming from a multitude of professions and backgrounds. We have passion and perseverance, we say what we will do and then we do it. Ending Polio is the best example of this passion and the spirit to get it done. We do community service on a global scale.
We are different from other organizations and in every way that we are, it is a good thing.
We are entering a new and exciting Future Vision for our Foundation, a new Grant Model and most importantly, an expanded District Grant program giving the Clubs more money to do great local service projects. Our District has always been a leader in supporting our Foundation and participating in all the Foundation Programs. We have 5 or 6 Ambassadorial Global Grant Scholars every year doing great things abroad. We do significant Global Water Projects yearly bringing clean water to tens of thousands. We support PolioPlus and Rotary Peace Fellow Programs.
We have 6 Rotaract Clubs at our colleges and universities and these young folks will do us proud as they go out and do good in the world. We support 40 Interact Clubs in high schools around the District and have a great Youth Exchange program with 12 to 15 Inbound and Outbound high school students year after year.
Membership is the lifeblood of our organization, there are new initiatives available to help Clubs find new and creative ways to attract new Members. We will again be doing a combination Foundation/Membership/Grant Management Training Seminar September 13th, come join us and get new ideas and enjoy great fellowship with members from around our District.
Ask yourself if you know anyone that would be a good Rotarian, have you talked with them about Rotary, have you invited them to enjoy one of your Club’s meetings? Engage Rotary, Change Lives, reach out to someone and give them the great opportunity that you already have.
Ending Polio Now remains our number one goal in Rotary and we are getting “This Close”. Very modest goals are in place for every Club and we want to reach out to engage our communities in these fund raising efforts. Don’t just write a check, have a community fellowship event with a goal of raising some money for PolioPlus and having a great time with your members and the community at large.
Do you have a Rotary Moment, that moment when it became more than a meeting, a lunch or breakfast, and became an epiphany, a WOW moment that showed you what the power of Rotary can mean. Share your Rotary Moment in a Club meeting, with the folks at your table, share your passion.
This year we will be emphasizing the Family of Rotary, Fellowship, Youth Service and the ethics of the Four Way Test. We will once again recognize a Four Way Test Nominee in each Club visit, a great way for a Club to celebrate one of their own and perhaps inspire a few new members to really Engage Rotary and Change Lives themselves.
Finally, mark your Calendars for the celebration of your Club’s accomplishments by attending the annual District Conference in Charleston March 28th – 30th , 2014. It will be a great time and looking forward to seeing everyone there.
Let’s all have a great year as we “Engage Rotary and Change Lives”.